Waterloo

"Heh, I can see why Durandal called this place Waterloo..."

Briefly glancing from the pfhor fighter charging at him, the security officer glanced at the BOB who'd uttered such a thing. A BOB who was completely clear of homicidal aliens, thank you very much, and shouldn't have rubbed it in by taking the time to make random statements. And while the officer had had plenty of time to get used to random statements back on the Marathon as Durandal went through Rampancy, they were no more welcome here than on the starship. Wherever here was...

"What do you think Robert?" the BOB asked, turning towards the "Hero of Tau Ceti." "Do you think-..."

Bam!

It wasn't a shot directed at his fellow human, however much the security officer might have liked to shut him up. As annoying as his fellow crewmen could be, especially when they kept shouting "they're everywhere!", pfhor were even more so. In the end, all that was left was to unload the last round in his chamber at the approaching alien, tearing a hole through the side of its skull (did it even have a skull? Pfhor supposedly had exoskeletons after all) and downing it.

"Nice shot," the BOB commented, walking over to the officer currently in the midst of exchanging clips. "I can see why they call you the hero of..."

"They?" Robert asked, finishing the reload process that, he was glad to see, hadn't become rusty after seventeen years of stasis. "I don't know who they are kid, because..."

The security officer trailed off, both in mind and as he approached the alien's twitching body, physically as well. He knew he was being selfish, knew that he shouldn't have sought any recognition for saving Tau Ceti IV when he was simply doing his job. Still, here he was on a world in the galactic core thousands of light years away from anything resembling home and didn't possess a single idea as to why.

Then again, to be fair, neither did the BOBs...

"You said this place was called Waterloo..." the security officer began, glancing back at the scrawny youth whose hands looked smaller than the pistol he was wielding.

"Er, yeah, that's right," the youth said, looking uneasy at the prospect of making eye contact with the security officer's polarized visor. "That's what Durandal called it and-..."

Bam!

The shot was meant for the pfhor, to actually finish off the three-eyed freak off. Still, Robert wasn't angry at it. Rather, he was angry at the mention of the AI who'd brought him here. True, he probably wouldn't be alive if not for Durandal. No human on the Marathon would. Still, the security officer couldn't help but engage in the fantasy of tearing out every one of the sanctimonious computer chip's circuits and launching them into the nearest star. He was used to following orders, but at least Leela hadn't been a sarcastic SOB when going about it.

Leela...

Robert shook it off. He didn't want to fantasize about female AIs. Not even if he got one installed in his armour and discovered a giant hula hoop in space.

"You done?" the BOB asked, his gaze now fixed on the magnum in the officer's hands.

"Yeah, I'm done. Now what was that about Waterloo?"

"Oh, you know, this, the water..." the kid said, gesturing at the water channels bellow the stone passage they were in-passages Robert had missed until now courtesy of sending the pfhor back to whatever hell spawned them "Waterloo...water...flushing like loos..."

Robert sighed. "Kid, Durandal can be enigmatic, but I don't think calling this place Waterloo has anything to do with recepticles."

"Huh?"

"Battle of Waterloo, 1812, a decisive battle that sealed the end of Napoleon's rule back on Earth," the security officer recited, trying and failing to remember exactly how he knew such information. "Being an AI with a superiority complex, I think that's what was on Durandal's mind."

"...you're scary."

"Tell that to the pfhor."

Robert hoped he wouldn't have to point out that that was a rhetorical statement or engage in reflection that the pfhor on this world were unlikely to be afraid of him and as such, would be as aggressive as those he'd faced seventeen years ago. Still, somehow the prospect didn't seem so bad. Durandal had called this place Waterloo and having chosen to come to this world after nearly two decades of racing around the galactic core, the human supposed there was a reason for it. Maybe there was something on this world. Maybe the battles he fought here would be as significant as the one fought a millennium ago...

Either way, making his way through the ruins, the Hero of Tau Ceti resolved to find out.